Two injured in Kamloops shooting

CFJC News:

UPDATE: Two people have been injured after a reported shooting in Kamloops.

B.C. Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller said two patients were taken to hospital after a reported shooting just before 4 p.m.

Miller said one patient is in serious condition, and the other is in critical condition.

Royal Inland Hospital currently has enhanced security as a precaution.

EARLIER:

Global News

Several police cruisers and emergency vehicles have converged near Tranquille Road and Southill Street in Kamloops.

No details yet on what is unfolding, but several people near the scene have reported seeing officers with their guns drawn.

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said the situation is dynamic and fluid, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

This comes after Thursday’s massive police presence that spanned from Kamloops to Kelowna, and eventually ended in Falkland. That was the result of an armed robbery turned kidnapping.

There was also a stabbing in Rayleigh yesterday afternoon, when one man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

There have been a series of high profile, violent incidents since the beginning of this year.

It’s been nearly one month since two homicides took place at local motels, and both were believed to be linked to organized crime.

–CFJC News

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Ex-Goldman banker plans return to U.S. to face criminal charges: lawyer

(Reuters) – Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker accused of playing a role in defrauding sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), will return to the United States to face criminal charges against him, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Ng will waive extradition to the United States on Friday during an appearance in a court in Malaysia, according to his lawyer Marc Agnifilo. Ng intends to plead not guilty when he appears in a U.S. federal court, Agnifilo said.

Ng, who left Goldman Sachs in the spring of 2014, has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since Nov. 1, shortly after the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against him for allegedly laundering funds siphoned off from 1MDB.

Tim Leissner, another Goldman Sachs official, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho have also been charged in the United States over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

“As we have said all along, we are outraged that any employee of the firm would undertake the actions detailed in the government’s charges,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said when asked about Ng.

Goldman Sachs itself is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and police are cautioning against romance scams

Don’t let a romance scam break your heart this Valentine’s Day.

Provincial police are warning people about a ploy that’s swindled Ontarians out of millions of dollars, and is said to be targeting a growing number of people, often women.

Global News

“This usually occurs through contact online, via email blasts, social media like Facebook or Twitter, or singles and dating-related meet websites,” said Cst. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk County OPP.

The fraudster will spend time communicating with the victim and establishing a level of trust before stealing personal information or money.

Sanchuk is reminding people not to give out personal information online, and to use a computer to your advantage.

“Educate yourself. Check out the person’s name and company name, the address used, and also ask yourself, ‘Would someone I’ve never met declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?’”

The Better Business Bureau says romance scams are on the rise, costing victims millions of dollars in Canada and the U.S.

The BBB says from 2015 to 2018, more than $1 billion in losses were recorded from victims of both sides of the border. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in 2018, the reported loss from romance scams was $24,949,073.04. That compares with $21,099,187.63 in 2017.

Those numbers could be higher. Sanchuk says people might not tell family members or police about falling victim to a romance scam, because they’re embarrassed. He’s urging people to contact their local police authority so they can investigate, and get information about various kinds of scams out to the community.”

“There’s someone out there for anyone apparently,” Sanchuk said. “That person will eventually come along, but if that person is asking for personal information, they’re asking you to transfer money — that person is not for you.”

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OPP arrest 6 in alleged cocaine-trafficking ring in Quinte West and GTA

Six people have been arrested as part of an alleged cocaine-trafficking network in and around the City of Quinte West and Greater Toronto Area.

Last fall, the OPP launched “Project UMA” which was an extensive drug investigation in collaboration with the Toronto Police Service and Belleville Police Service.

Global News

On Monday, OPP’s emergency response team, canine unit and the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force executive five search warrants in the City of Quinte West and the GTA where they seized cocaine and a vehicle and arrested six people.

Craig James Ross, 57, Trevor Ross, 35, and Lorena Ross, 56, all of Quinte West, are each charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine).

Ryan Dean, 31, of Quinte West, is charged with possession of a Schedule I substance (cocaine).

Diana Swartzman, 35, and Wayne Smith, 42, both of Toronto, are each charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine and oxycodone).

OPP are still seeking information regarding the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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Brazil moves top prison gang leader to high-security federal facility

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Marcos Willians Camacho, the main leader of Brazil’s powerful prison gang First Capital Command, was transferred on Wednesday to a high-security federal penitentiary from a Sao Paulo state prison, Sao Paulo Governor João Doria told reporters.

Twenty-one other members of the Sao Paulo-based gang, known locally as PCC, were transferred to federal facilities from Sao Paulo state in an operation by federal and state security forces, he said.

Doria told journalists the transfer of Camacho, known in Brazil by the nickname Marcola, had been in the works for around 50 days. The governor also noted the administration has prepared for potential reprisals related to the decision.

“Actions have been taken by state and federal security forces to prevent any reaction,” Doria said. “The state, here, will not be held hostage by criminals.”

Last month, a plan by the new Ceará state government to send prisoners to whatever jails have space to take them, ending a longstanding practice of separating them according to gang affiliation, triggered violence in the capital Fortaleza and other cities.

Authorities said at that time the violence was a reprisal ordered by gang leaders from inside the penitentiaries.

The operation marks a major step by the new Brazilian government of right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who was elected last year promising, among other things, to fight rising crime and the prison gangs. Doria is a close ally of the former Army captain turned president.

Bolsonaro, who was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after recovering from his third surgery since he was stabbed last year during campaign, signed on Wednesday a decree that authorizes the use of federal forces in prisons to deal with any potential riots.

Marcola was sentenced to more than 200 years in jail for several crimes, including drug trafficking and murder. He used to lead PCC actions from the jail.

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Police identify man gunned down in east-end Toronto building

Toronto police have identified a man fatally shot in a building in east-end Toronto on Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency services responded to reports of gunshots at 4110 Lawrence Ave. East just before 3 p.m.

Officers arrived on scene and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on scene.

On Wednesday, police identified him as 25-year-old Dean Howlett of Whitby.

A post-mortem is scheduled for Thursday.

Investigators are interested in speaking with anyone who may have been in the area or who may have any information to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

Global News

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Man dead after shooting in east-end Toronto

Toronto police say homicide investigators have taken over after a man was shot and killed in east-end Toronto on Tuesday.

Emergency services responded to reports of gunshots in the Lawrence Avenue and Andover Crescent area just before 3 p.m.

Police said officers found a man on scene suffering from gunshot wounds.

He was rushed to hospital without vital signs. Police said he later succumbed to his injuries.

Officers said a man was seen fleeing the scene northbound wearing a black toque, black jacket, black track pants with a white stripe, boots and a backpack. Police said he is believed to be armed.

The area is closed for the police investigation.

Global News

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Jail for ex-teacher who cheated girlfriend of more than $178,000

SINGAPORE – A former teacher told his girlfriend that he needed money as capital for “investments” and duped her into handing over cash totalling more than $178,000.

Gary Won Han Kiat, 35, who taught from 2011 to 2013, was sentenced to two years and a month’s jail on Tuesday (Feb 12).

Won, who is now jobless, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of cheating. He committed the offences between 2015 and 2017.

Thirty- eight other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that his relationship with receptionist Leong Shi Min, 26, lasted two years.

The Straits Times understands that they are no longer together.

The pair first met via messaging application WeChat in 2015 and later became an item.

Won lied to Ms Leong, claiming to be a contractor, and on Oct 23 that year, he asked her for $4,000 on the pretext that he needed the funds as capital for work investments.

She believed him and transferred the money to his bank account.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jessie Lim said Won had no intention of investing the money in work-related investments.

Instead, he purchased $3,950 worth of chips at the Resorts World Sentosa casino the next day and gambled away the money.

He continued to ask her for more money after this, the court heard.

DPP Lim said: “In all instances, the accused deceived the complainant… by stating that he required the sums for his work investments when, in reality, they were used to fund his gambling habit.

“Some time around Nov 19, 2015, having dipped into her personal savings to deliver moneys to the accused, the complainant then resorted to asking her mother for help when the accused asked for more (cash).”

Ms Leong’s mother agreed to help. The older woman even resorted to cashing out her personal insurance policy so that she could pass the money to her daughter.

Ms Leong would then hand over the funds to Won.

Court documents did not reveal how his offences came to light, but the relationship ended around May 2017.

She alerted the police on Nov 2 that year, saying Won had cheated her of cash on numerous occasions in the course of their relationship.

DPP Lim told the court that Won had since made restitution of more than $12,000.

On Tuesday, she urged District Judge John Ng to sentence the former teacher to two years and three months’ jail.

She stressed that the case involved a large sum of money and that Won had abused Ms Leong’s trust.

Defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy pleaded for a sentence of a year and eight months’ jail, telling the court that Won had pleaded guilty to his offences at an early opportunity.

Won was offered bail of $20,000.

He has to surrender himself at the State Courts on Feb 18 to begin serving his sentence.

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Prosecutor urges at least 50 months' jail for mastermind of scam involving false PIC claims

SINGAPORE – The prosecution in a case involving false claims to a government scheme has urged the court to sentence the mastermind of the scam to at least four years and two months’ jail.

S. Chandran, an IT instructor turned magician, had helped 49 people submit fraudulent claims to the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme, seeking payouts totalling more than $1.1 million. Of this amount, $876,684 was disbursed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), which runs the scheme.

On Monday (Feb 11), Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) V. Jesudevan stressed that the case involved an “enormous” amount of money.

Chandran, 37, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Kessler Soh in his mitigation plea that he is the sole breadwinner of his family and is now “penniless”. He also said that his parents have health problems.

Chandran, who is married and has a young son, told the court that he would not know what would happen to his loved ones if he were sent to jail.

He pleaded guilty in November last year to 18 charges under the Income Tax Act involving more than $400,000 in cash payouts and bonuses. Forty other similar charges linked to the remaining amount were taken into consideration.

The PIC scheme offers tax deductions or cash payouts to companies that have made genuine investments to enhance productivity and innovation, such as by investing in staff training, information technology or automation equipment.

To qualify for PIC cash payouts, the companies have to meet certain conditions, such as hiring at least three local employees.

Some companies which did not meet the conditions had sought help from Chandran, the sole proprietor of Paradize Consultancy, who assisted them in exchange for half of the amounts disbursed.

DPPs Jesudevan and Christopher Lim, as well as Iras’ senior tax prosecutor Norman Teo stated in their court documents that Chandran “held himself out as a PIC consultant”.

He used platforms such as social media to seek out interested parties, claiming he could assist to “claim government grants and get some cash back”.

He also organised individual and mass presentation sessions on how to obtain the PIC cash payouts. On the claimants’ behalf, he would submit to Iras the necessary paperwork such as the PIC form.

For claimants who did not have three local employees, Chandran directed them to obtain the particulars of other individuals and list them as workers in the PIC forms.

Some of the claimants have already been dealt with. On May 26 last year, eight Singaporeans were ordered to pay a penalty of between $24,606 and $49,212 for making false PIC claims. Most were also fined up to $5,000.

Chandran is now out on bail of $200,000 and is expected to be sentenced on March 4.

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Union calls for law to protect shop workers after massive rise in attacks

Attacks on shop workers have risen by more than half in under two years, a shock Home Office survey reveals.

Figures show there were 8.1 million incidents of assault and verbal abuse in 2017-18 compared with 5.2 million the previous year.

Crime minister Victoria Atkins has ordered a probe to find out why – and shop workers’ union USDAW hopes it will pave the way for a specific offence of assaulting retail staff.

A USDAW insider said: “Everyone knows if you assault a police officer you get a stiffer sentence.

“We want something similar for shop workers.”

Ministers originally resisted making attacks on shop staff an aggravated crime but have been forced to ­reconsider after Tory MPs insisted.

Many disputes are over age-restricted items. Ms Atkins now wants to know if some parts of the country are worse than others.

And she is also probing whether attacks are more prevalent in certain retailers.

USDAW says there is a link between the increase in attacks and thefts from shops, and Tory cutbacks on the police, which have resulted in 20,000 frontline officers being lost.

The union says around 230 shop workers a day report assaults to it – and shoplifting is up a third on 2016.

USDAW general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “The need for urgent action is undeniable.

“A properly funded police service is essential to halt the dramatic rise in retail crime and the impact it has on our members.”

He is concerned that some police forces are now asking shop assistants to detain shoplifters ­themselves because there are not enough officers.

Mr Lillis added: “Life on the retail front line can be tough and there is still a lot to do to help protect them.”

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